MENTOR—What happens when you combine a state championship soccer team with a state champion football coach?
That question was answered early Sunday morning when Kirtland opened the inaugural girls’ flag football season with a 42-0 win over Mentor.
The Kirtland roster consists of nine girls who led Kirtland to the Division III soccer state championship in the fall and the squad is coached by Tiger LaVerde, who has guided the boys’ football team to six state titles in the last 10 years.
Reilly Greenlee, a soccer, cross country, and basketball standout, got the Hornets started early when she picked off a Mentor pass and returned it for a touchdown on the game’s opening possession.
Amber Yurick, a defender on the soccer team, then made a leaping grab of a pass thrown from Macy McIntosh, turned on a dime, and sprinted 30 yards to the end zone. Kirtland added a two-point conversion to push its lead to 14-0.
Mia Rini caught a touchdown pass and the Hornets added another two-point conversion and then Malia Becker was in the right place at the right time as she hauled in a deflected pass in the end zone to push the Kirtland lead to 30-0.
Mentor finally put together a drive but it stalled at the goal line as Kirtland’s defense came up with a clutch stop to preserve the shutout.
Greenlee added a second touchdown and McIntosh closed out the scoring late in the first half with a touchdown reception thrown by Leah LaVerde.
McIntosh closed out her day with four touchdown throws with one scoring reception and an interception on defense.
Sophia LaVerde, Corinne Greenlee and Erika Zschuppe also play for the Hornets.